Award categories 2018
Landlord of the year
In the midst of a housing crisis which is as serious as ever and in a housing landscape beset with challenges, we are looking for a landlord who has stepped up to have a truly exceptional year.
We’re looking for the ‘wow’ factor. How have your people worked together to deliver efficient, high quality, outstanding services and homes that both you and your tenants can be proud of? And what has the impact been?
You will have gone way beyond bricks and mortar and made a real difference to the lives of people in your communities.
You will need to own and manage stock but size isn’t everything - you could be a smaller provider punching above your weight.
Your outstanding work may have been driven by a specific part of your organisation but you’ll be able to demonstrate high quality across the board.
Strategic local authority of the year
The strategic role of local authorities is crucial in delivering housing which makes a real difference.
This award is not necessarily about you delivering new homes, and it does not matter if you do not own or manage homes yourself. We want to see that you have worked closely with partners to provide local leadership and to drive forward a committed approach to meeting housing need in your area.
Your housing offer should be at the heart of your work and be joined up with the rest of your services to the demonstrable benefit of your communities.
Development programme of the year
The need for new homes in the UK is as pressing as the funding landscape is challenging. We are looking for a landlord who has shown ambition, determination and innovation to deliver new homes.
This is not all about scale. You may be a big developer who has found a way to deliver a significant number of properties or you could have developed on a much smaller scale but been particularly inventive and impactful in your approach.
You will have equipped your organisation with skills, knowledge and experience and made a truly meaningful contribution to increasing housing supply and improving affordability in a challenging funding environment.
This award recognises an ongoing development programme so you could enter on the basis of having just had a particularly strong year for development or you may instead be in the middle of a five-year development plan.
How have you, or will you, deliver high-quality homes? And what impact has it had on people? Give us the whole story.
Outstanding approach to communication
In a world where the perception of social housing rarely matches up to the reality, this award recognises an often underestimated aspect of the work of housing organisations.
We’re looking for an organisation which has recognised the crucial importance of telling compelling stories about the work that they do in the right way, to the right people at the right time.
You will be able to show that you have clearly communicated your work, whatever it is, to your target audience - whether it is to your tenants, the wider community, different organisations or politicians.
You may have run a successful campaign to tackle a specific issue, run sustained communications activity to become a thought leader in a particular area, or you may have transformed the culture of your organisation with powerful internal communications work. You may instead have demonstrated excellence in communications across the board.
Whatever your message is, you’ll have excelled in getting it out there. You’ll have put successful communication at the heart of your work and be able to show how it has supported the wider goals of your organisation.
Innovation of the year
This is your chance to show us real originality and invention.
You will have thought outside the box to deliver a service or product in a way which shows a truly innovative approach. This could relate to any part of your business.
Technology may have been central to your innovation but this isn’t essential. We’re looking for original thinking which has really strengthened your work.
The best projects or ideas will have changed the way you work in a clear and sustainable way. They should also have helped you reduce costs and enhance your overall service.
Outstanding approach to repairs and maintenance
This award will recognise outstanding work to fulfil this vital function.
Whether you’re completing the work yourself or using contractors, you will have shown a real commitment to invest in your properties. You may have introduced an innovative new repairs process which has been particularly successful or produced eye-catching results as part of a promise to deliver planned maintenance.
You may instead be a contractor who has gone above and beyond to meet the needs of a housing provider and delivered work of the highest standard.
You’ll have done work which has made a real impact on the standard of homes and the lives of the people living in them. And you’ll have made, or contributed, to a more cost-effective and efficient process.
Outstanding approach to income management
This award will recognise an approach which has sustained high levels of income collection in a financial environment which is more challenging than ever for both landlords and their tenants.
We’re looking for landlords which have found original and innovative ways to support their tenants to avoid financial difficulties and can demonstrate this has had a real impact.
You should be able to demonstrate the difference you’ve made to the lives of the tenants you’ve helped and be able to show this has improved your organisation’s financial performance.
Outstanding approach to tenant involvement
Your tenants are your eyes and ears and involving them can be a crucial way of making sure your services meet the mark.
We want to see that you’ve put tenants at the heart of your work and that their feedback and input have made a tangible difference to your approach.
You should be able to demonstrate that you’ve put time and resource into giving tenants the tools they need to help you add real value and play a key role in fulfilling your organisation’s priorities.
You could have used traditional means to involve your tenants or you may have shown original thinking. But above all you will have involved them in a way which you can clearly demonstrate has benefited them and had a positive impact on your work.
Outstanding approach to meeting specialist housing needs
We are looking for a landlord who has played a vital role in providing housing and support to some of the most vulnerable people in society.
We want to see how you’ve helped people to maintain their independence and live healthy, happy lives.
You will be able to demonstrate you have developed a housing offer which meets the needs of a specific group of people and does much more than put a roof over the heads of your residents.
We are looking for original thinking and an approach which demonstrates close working with other relevant organisations to get the best outcomes for the people you house. Tell some of your story through them if you can.
Outstanding approach to regeneration
Successful regeneration projects can breathe new life into communities and help to meet housing need. This award will recognise an approach to regeneration which has transformed an area and the lives of the people living in it.
You could be in the process of regenerating an area or have recently completed a project. Either way we want to hear the whole story. What lay behind the choice of your area and how did you bring the community along with you on what can be an unsettling journey?
You will be able to demonstrate real local leadership and show that you have driven the project forward with the other organisations involved.
We want to see the tangible outcomes that have come from your regeneration – not just that you made the area look better. How have you made sure the community in the area has been maintained and what initiatives have you launched to make a difference on issues like health, education and employment.
Outstanding approach to promoting digital inclusion
We are looking for an organisation which has done outstanding work to help people get to grips with the digital world.
You could be a landlord or an organisation who has worked with a provider to help its residents. We’re looking for organisations who have found innovative and original ways to engage people and help them make the most out of the support, help and services that can only be accessed digitally.
You may have got creative to incentivise access to digital technology or run a campaign to help train people in your communities. Innovation is good but not essential – you may instead have used traditional channels to great effect to promote digital inclusion to people to people who most need help.
As ever the best projects will demonstrate a positive impact on your organisation such as more people accessing services online or an improvement in arrears performance.
Outstanding approach to tackling homelessness
Homelessness remains a crisis in the UK with levels rising consistently since 2009. We want to see innovative or outstanding work which has helped to tackle this issue.
You may have launched an innovative project to get homeless people in your communities into accommodation or you could have focused your efforts on the root causes of homelessness.
We want to hear from organisations working on the frontline. Inspire us with your efforts and show us why your work matters.
You will need to demonstrate the impact you’ve had and most importantly the difference you’ve made to people’s lives.
Outstanding approach to equality and diversity
Housing organisations have unique access to their communities and those communities are more diverse than ever.
We’re looking for an organisation that has gone the extra mile to promote equality and diversity.
Your scheme could have dealt with gender inequality in your workforce or supported LGBT people in your communities. You may have launched your own initiative or partnered with other organisations to great effect.
Whatever you’ve done you will be able to demonstrate your concerted effort to put equality diversity at the heart of your work and be able to show clear results. We’d love to hear it from the people you’ve worked with too.